Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Faraway Voice ...

G just called.

We've traded e-mails while he's been home for the holidays, but I was surprised when the phone rang and I heard him say, "Hi." Today is a good day for a call, though: New Year's Day and the effective halfway point of his trip. He'll be home in a week.

His trip has been good so far, save for his grandmother's funeral, which he had written to say was sad but provided the opportunity for him to see relatives he hadn't seen since 1999.

He has this week plotted out. Monday will be for shopping ("I already did my food shopping," he said. "Chocolate, gummi bears ...") and the rest of the week will be spent seeing various family and friends.

He reports that his mother is still feeding him too much ("Isn't that what moms do?" he asked. "Our moms," I said. "Not all moms, though.") and that his brother was very happy to receive his iPod for Christmas, for which G uploaded the 1,400 songs on his own pod onto A's computer, of which A promptly deleted about 1,000.

"We have different taste in music," said G.

Apparently.

We chatted for nearly 30 minutes. He asked me what I wanted for a souvenir. He'd already reported in an e-mail that he'd picked up hazelnut chocolate for me. (For us, I presume. I'm sure he bought some for himself. We're both hazelnut fanatics.)

I laughed, saying I couldn't tell him what to bring me. "I mean, you're welcome to bring me something, but I don't know what. What's special about that region?"

(The last time I really bought souvenirs was the first time I was in London, so everyone received very British things: Kyle, the U.K. version of the second Harry Potter book; Nick, a game from the Tower of London; Gianna, a bear from Harrods, sporting a ribbon around his neck in the trademark green and gold; my mom, a linen handkerchief [because that's what she asked for, though linen is really more Irish]; my dad, a pint glass from a pub Patty and Barry told me to visit [because my father is almost impossible to buy for, but he likes beer]. The second time I went to London, Brian asked for something cheesy. I believe I hit the nail on the head with the Big Ben bottle opener. But I digress.)

We'll see. So far, G has proven his mettle when it comes to gift-giving.

Not that I expect things, mind you. But I'm always interested to receive gifts because they give me a glimpse of how others see me.

But, sappy as it sounds, seeing him again will be enough.

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